We are always looking out for great programs that can help you as an inspector increase your bottom line at the end of the week. One program that we have found that does this is MFD Foundation Certifications. Now, we don’t endorse programs and advertise for “companies”, but this company is run by one of our own – a home inspector named Harold Van Dyk. And it may be a really great side gig for you if you are interested.
Before we get into Harold’s program though, let’s briefly talk about MFD Foundation Certifications.
I have personally done these types of inspections for one of the big national companies in years past. In essence, the Federal government requires that a foundation certification be produced by an engineer for manufactured homes built after a certain time period. The data gathering can be done by a typical inspector though, and the engineer produces the report.
Years ago they would give us about $100 (the fees are higher now) to drive over and gather some information. We used to do them on the way back, or the way to, an inspection and it really only took 15-25 minutes. Then another 5-10 minutes or so of data entry at the computer. So for us, we made more hourly than on a home inspection.
Harold Van Dyk of HJ Home Inspections in Michigan has a new spin on it though. He has been doing these as a home inspector for many years. But he has partnered with an engineering firm that now provides a much higher pay scale for the inspector. Most inspectors are making $275+ for these inspections, which really adds up for such a small amount of work.
Harold has inspectors in many States providing this service, and is constantly expanding into other States. So how does the program work? Let’s ask Harold and see in the interview with him below:
Q: Can you give us the basics of your program?
I have been conducting Mfd. Home engineering certification inspections for around 10 years now. The downside to these inspections is that the national engineering firms pay around $100 to $125 per inspection, hardly making it worthwhile for the inspector. The firms themselves are charging $425 or more per inspection. So last year, I partnered with an engineer friend of mine, Pat Conroy, and started Mfd Home Certifications, US LLC. Basically we charge the home inspector for the engineering service and the inspector charges the client. That way, the inspector makes the bulk of the money.
Q: How much can an inspector count on making per inspection?
The typical average fee for a foundation or addition certification is around $425 (inspectors set their own fees). The fee for both inspections is usually about $100 more at $525. We charge the inspector $150 for either one of the 2 inspections or $175 for both. So the inspector makes around $275 to $350. It is not hard to build the business to where an inspector can conduct 2 to 3 of these per week. That adds up to a very significant contribution to the inspectors bottom line. I personally did 10 of these inspections in the last 3 weeks.
Q: Does your Insurance cover the Inspector?
Our E&O insurance covers the engineering certification reports.
Q: How long do the inspections take (including report writing)?
Most inspections take around 10 minutes to conduct and another 5 minutes for entering the data and uploading the pictures. Most inspectors find that the 1st one or two inspections take them about 30 minutes. In addition to the training manual, we have videos for the inspectors to watch that helps guide them through the process.
Q: Where do the leads come from?
The majority of the leads/orders come from the lenders. The lenders will sometimes give their customers a list with the names of inspectors who do these inspections and let the customer call and make the arrangements. Usually, the national engineering firms are on that list. Most clients (and lenders) will choose the local provider over the national companies. The way we have it structured, the inspector becomes the local expert. That is a very strong marketing tool for the inspector to use.
Q: What are some marketing tips for adding this service?
First, letting real estate agents know that you can provide the service. With Mfd homes, the agents are often in contact with the lenders due to the unique requirements for lending on Mfd homes. If you get an order for doing a home inspection of a Mfd home, make sure that you ask the client for the lenders information and make contact with that lender. Also have the client check with the lender to see if the engineering certifications will be required. Many lenders are now requiring these certifications even for conventional loans.
One common misconception is that inspectors think they have to be doing the home inspection of the Mfd home (or Mfd Homes in general) in order to do the engineering certifications. That is not true. In fact, the vast majority of the time, I did not conduct the original home inspection and was called later for the engineering certification.
Q: What are the requirements for being in the program?
The service you provide as a registered field inspector with MFD Home Certifications does not require licensing, however, we require that;
- You must be a home inspector and member in good-standing with either NACHI or ASHI
- Licensed in your state if the state licenses home inspectors.
- Have a website for your inspection business.
Q: How can a home inspector sign up?
So if you are interested in participating in this program, please contact Harold. Also, we would love to hear your experience with the program and your feedback here on this blog. As always, feel free to contact us here at Full View Marketing with any questions.